As home to supermajors, as well as a plethora of smaller, independent energy players, the US boasts one of the largest concentrations of energy personnel in the world. With its insatiable appetite for energy resources, the United States is the world's single largest consumer of oil, using as much as 20.73 million barrels per day as of 2008. Recently, interest has peaked in the vast quantity of untapped natural gas resources in the US, the reserves of which were inventoried in 2008 at 238 Tcf, with producers specifically targeting the nation's promising shale formations for this energy commodity.
Mud logging is the creation of a record (log) that contains the drilling activity observed during the drilling of a well. This information is usually gathered by examining rock cuttings brought to the surface by drilling. The mud log contains the entire geological record of the well; it may contain information regarding lithology (rock type), drill time, mud characteristics, and if there was any indication of oil or gas.